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Just ordered my 1st build...how'd I do?

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March 11, 2011 7:00:35 PM

So, I've been patiently waiting to build my 1st computer. Was going to build an i5-760, then decided to wait til Sandy Bridge. Didn't jump on that right away due to lack of funds. Now, I have the funds and motherboards are slow to come out. Found an ASUS P8P67 LE in stock at Tiger Direct so I jumped on it and ordered the rest of the components through Newegg and Amazon.

Mobo: ASUS P8P67 LE (I know this is weak, might RMA or put it on eBay when I can get ahold of an ASRock P67 Extreme4 or ASUS P8P67 Pro)
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k
Cooler: CM Hyper 212+
GPU: MSI HD 6950 2GB
RAM: Corsair XMS 2x4GB DDR3 1600 (CMX8GXM2A1600C9)
Case: HAF 912
Fan: CM Megaflow 200mm (Red)
PSU: XFX 650W Black Edition
HDD: Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3
Optical: Lite-On LightScribe 24x SATA DVD+/-RW
Keyboard: Logitech G110
Mouse: Logitech MX518

So far, the bank card has been charged $1115.74. I've got a $10 Newegg gift card coming and $55 in rebates. My orginal budget was $1500 so I've got ~$400 I *could* spend yet. I should point out here that this will be used for (in no particular order): gaming, some video editing, CS5, and, of course, general internet browsing. I have a 21.5" Hanns-G 1680x1050 monitor. I know this isn't the best, but it was a gift from the parents 2 years ago and serves me fine right now.

I have been contemplating an SSD (80GB range), but not sure if I want the hassle. Yes, I know they are fast, but am I really handicapping myself by not having one? I don't plan on CF GPUs any time soon, plus I know the current Mobo and PSU won't allow it. (Pretty sure the LE runs at 16x and 4x with two cards.)

Any feedback will be helpful, whether it's as simple as "That will work fine" or suggestions for 3-12 months down the road.

Thanks in advance,

Nate

More about : ordered 1st build

March 11, 2011 7:30:11 PM

With the exception of the board, you did pretty good. I think you only really messed up with the HAF 912. You could have gotten the Rosewill Challenger for $55. It's a high quality, high performance case. That HAF 912 just doesn't come with enough cooling to make it effective for its price.

Also, there wouldn't be a point in returning the board, as you don't have a big enough PSU to really handle dual 6950s (I'm assuming you want to flash it into a 6970). You'd want at least a 750W or 850W unit for that. Given that you were under budget by $400, that's a pretty big oversight, as the larger PSUs would only be $30-40 more.

I agree that an 80 GB SSD isn't worth the hassle. A 120 GB would be much more useful, but the good ones are still around $225-250. Also, a new version of SSDs is due out somewhat soon, so they're only going to get cheaper and faster.

I'd probably go ahead and take some of that $400 you've got left (around $200) and pick out a good 1920x1080 monitor. You're wasting your great machine by using a lower resolution monitor.
March 11, 2011 8:56:36 PM

MadAdmiral said:
With the exception of the board, you did pretty good. I think you only really messed up with the HAF 912. You could have gotten the Rosewill Challenger for $55. It's a high quality, high performance case. That HAF 912 just doesn't come with enough cooling to make it effective for its price.

Also, there wouldn't be a point in returning the board, as you don't have a big enough PSU to really handle dual 6950s (I'm assuming you want to flash it into a 6970). You'd want at least a 750W or 850W unit for that. Given that you were under budget by $400, that's a pretty big oversight, as the larger PSUs would only be $30-40 more.

I agree that an 80 GB SSD isn't worth the hassle. A 120 GB would be much more useful, but the good ones are still around $225-250. Also, a new version of SSDs is due out somewhat soon, so they're only going to get cheaper and faster.

I'd probably go ahead and take some of that $400 you've got left (around $200) and pick out a good 1920x1080 monitor. You're wasting your great machine by using a lower resolution monitor.



Thanks for the quick response. While I do have around $400 left, I'd rather not spend it if it's not necessary. Am I really going to notice a big change by going with a new monitor? Any issues with spreading the Windows desktop across two displays with different resolutions?

I got the 6950 for two reasons: able to turn into a 6970 and I'd rather not have to worry about CF right now to get good FPS with the eye candy turned on.

The megaflow fan will go into the front of the case as an intake and the included 120mm front fan will go to the side.

If I wanted to spend the whole budget now, I would have gone with an 850w PSU, a HAF X, and a new monitor, but eh, I have a hard time parting with my hard earned green. Lol. The 912 was reasonably priced, and I knew I'd have no trouble with the 212+ and 6950. Plus, it has nice cable management options. And the non-painted interior is a non-issue for me as there is no window.

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March 11, 2011 10:22:31 PM
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You're going to notice a huge difference with a 1920x1080 monitor. It'd be like going from a 720p TV to a 1080p one. There shouldn't be an issue about using the machine on two different resolution monitors. You'd just have to use it as an extended desktop. Of course, I don't recommend trying to play games like that.

I wouldn't have stepped up to the HAF X. I would've stayed in the same price range but picked a better performing case. Despite the HAF 912's "reasonable" price, the fact that you need to buy an extra fan to get the enough cooling makes it a lot less of a deal.
March 11, 2011 10:26:48 PM

Spreading the desktop across two monitors with different resolutions wont cause an issue, and games will start up on which ever one you designate as the primary unless you set them to do otherwise. I have a 19"(1280x1024) and a 21.5"(1920x1080) on a 4850 and it works out just fine, i play my games on the bigger screen and have the 19" left over for some random stuff.
March 14, 2011 5:41:43 PM

MadAdmiral said:
You're going to notice a huge difference with a 1920x1080 monitor. It'd be like going from a 720p TV to a 1080p one. There shouldn't be an issue about using the machine on two different resolution monitors. You'd just have to use it as an extended desktop. Of course, I don't recommend trying to play games like that.

I wouldn't have stepped up to the HAF X. I would've stayed in the same price range but picked a better performing case. Despite the HAF 912's "reasonable" price, the fact that you need to buy an extra fan to get the enough cooling makes it a lot less of a deal.



Yeah, I wouldn't plan to game across two monitors with different resolutions. I guess I never realized that going from 1680x1050 to 1920x1080 would be significant. Something to think about in the next few months. Any suggestions? Size, brand, price? I think I want a 2ms response with a high contrast ration. Is this correct?
March 14, 2011 5:45:51 PM

hunter315 said:
Spreading the desktop across two monitors with different resolutions wont cause an issue, and games will start up on which ever one you designate as the primary unless you set them to do otherwise. I have a 19"(1280x1024) and a 21.5"(1920x1080) on a 4850 and it works out just fine, i play my games on the bigger screen and have the 19" left over for some random stuff.


Thanks for the reply. I remember briefly hooking a 2nd monitor up to my laptop and having issues getting the settings right for that. I don't think I ever did get it completely right and gave in to frustration.
March 14, 2011 5:57:37 PM

Asus's 23-24" models are pretty good and fairly cheap. Pretty much all of Dell's monitors are very well reviewed as well.
March 14, 2011 6:12:07 PM

Ok, I've got another question. Just read the AMS vs. nVIDIA scaling article and got my hopes up...perhaps prematurely. On page 11, the first chart is about power consumption. It has the HD 6950 in 2-way Xfire eating up 432W during Furmark. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but does this mean my 650W PSU will run these with room to spare? The test setup isn't that different from what I've got coming this week...if this is true I'm thinking about RMAing my board and getting one with 8x/8x CF.
March 14, 2011 7:20:25 PM

Laptops are a bit touchier with their monitor setups since one of them is permanent and hardwired, my desktop never gives me trouble with multiple monitors, my laptop its always a game to see if i can get it to work.

A good 650W unit like the XFX could probably handle it with no problem, the newer AMD cards dont suck down a ton of power(except for the 6990) so there are now several dual card setups around that can be run on good 650W units.
March 14, 2011 7:23:30 PM

You've read the graphs correctly. That's why a 650W is suggested for dual 6850s...
March 21, 2011 1:47:23 PM

Best answer selected by nd_hunter.
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